Tuesday, June 10, 2014

NBA Finals Game 3: The Spurs Survive the Heat

When the San Antonio Spurs scored 71 points in the best shooting half in NBA Finals history (75.8 percent), many people believed the game to be over... but you can never count out the two time champs. The Heat stormed back in the third quarter, cutting a 21 point Spurs lead to just 7 but could not overcome what was the Spurs best game of the series thus far.

The San Antonio Spurs dominant first half was led by Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, combining for 12 of 12 from the field. Leonard went on to have his best playoff game in his career. He scored 29 points on 10 of 13 shooting, coupled with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Danny Green, normally known for his excellent 3-point shooting, surprised the Heat with successful drives to the rim and finished with 15 points on 7 of 8 shooting (1/2 from 3 point range) and 5 steals. The Spurs received a solid performance from its Big Three (Parker, Duncan, and Ginobli) which scored 40 points. While the Spurs offense was suburb, they're defense cannot be overlooked, forcing 20 Heat turnovers.

Despite the blowout, the Heat played a decent game. They shot 51.6 percent from the field led by James and Wade, who scored 22 points apiece. The Heat's Big Three (James, Wade, and Bosh) scored 53 points on 70 percent shooting. What killed the Heat were the turnovers, 20 compared to the Spurs' 12. Coach Erik Spoelstra likely would've liked to have rested James in the first half but he was the only thing keeping the Heat alive. Unfortunately, even James could not compete with the Spurs' sky high shooting percentage.

Ultimately, the two time champs could not overcome the San Antonio Spurs' incredible shooting night. Despite the change in home-field advantage and series format (2-2-1), this series has followed last years NBA finals, with the Spurs winning games 1 and 3. Game 4 will air on ABC at 9 PM ET on Thursday and will again take place in Miami.